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Poster: bluedevil Date: Oct 4, 2006 8:33pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: so who listens to nothin' but dead

You must have had a very limited visit to the R&R HOF. Open your eyes (and ears) and you might find there is lot more there to discover vis-a-vis artists such as Patti Smith, the Velvet Undergound, Talking Heads, Ramones, The Clash, Parliament/Funkadelic. Then again, you aint' gonna learn what you don't want to know . . .

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Oct 4, 2006 9:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: so who listens to nothin' but dead

I gotta go with bluedevil on this. If all you (dhamma) listen to is the Dead (or even the Dead and Dead-related), you are truly missing out, and you may as well go off and live in a vacuum, for all the experience it will provide. However, it's your choice and all that, whatever. But when i read a post like yours, i just got to comment. And it's not giving my two cents, it's more of a truism based on my own experiences, rather than just an opinion. To say that only the Dead and the Dead's music provide musical sustenance, is no different than someone else saying only top40 is where it's at, or only classical, or only jazz, or blues and you get the picture (i think).

And as for colleges/universities teaching 'Ripple' alongside Dickinson, well, i have to disagree with you there as well. I responded to an earlier post of yours, and no harm in cutting and pasting what i said then, since this is after all my post. Ahem ...

Dhamma, good post. However, i must respectfully disagree. As much as i appreciate the Dead's music and their lyrical and musical genius, their lyrics are just that ... lyrics. In other words, it is not, in my opinion, poetry. Poetry and lyrics subscribe to very different bodies of influence, and dare i say it, rules. It was always very amusing to me when younger when peers of mine would acclaim Jim Morrison's lyrics as somehow equal to established poetical works. However, as much as i may have felt moved by Morrison's compositions, they enlightened in a very different manner than say a work of poetry, by Rilke, Lawrence, Roethke, Pound, etc. By saying this i am not in any way diminishing the worth of the Garcia/Hunter songs, but just pointing out that lyrics are one thing, and poetry another. If you want to talk social impact, well, that's another story altogether.

Not trying to start anything, but the sort of narrow view that you propound is exactly what killed off the more worthy values and ideals of the 1960's. And which are still doing it today in 2006.

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Poster: Dhamma1 Date: Oct 5, 2006 2:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: so who listens to nothin' but dead

Not trying to propound or convert, or suggest anyone else should do what I do. Only trying to answer the original question that was posed, and describe my own subjective experience. No offense meant or taken :-) I appreciate the suggestions of other music that means a lot to people here.

I also don't mean to suggest I've never listened to other music or won't again. I did enjoy many of the bands named in a previous reply, over the years; and I listened to much of the (western) music written over the last 300 years before I ever heard the Dead. It's just that none of that moves me very deeply now, for whatever reason, and the Dead are a very rich vein to mine.

Nor do I mean to say I won't ever listen to anything else, My son writes and plays what he alternatively calls "death metal" and "grind metal" -- intricate, precise, furious but to me almost unlistenable short pieces. I'm sure I'll hear a lot of it in coming years. And of course one can't live in America and miss mainstream music, Disney sound tracks, etc. :-)

Lyrics aren't poetry, indeed (in which I'm reasonably well-versed, to make a bad pun), but they can sometimes succeed as effectively in communicating the unsayable and beautiful. I think Hunter's words do reach that peak as often as my favorite poets, and his words and images get stuck echoing in my head as frequently as the tunes.

Will they really be taught at universities in 100 years? I suppose that was just a bit of self-indulgent hyperbole I dropped in at a weak moment. :-)

An analogy I've been trying out, to understand my strange fascination with the Dead in recent months, is literary. You can read a book or two by an author and be moved -- say To the Lighthouse or A Room of One's Own -- and then go on to read other books by other authors. But if you are deeply touched, you might go on to read the author's entire collected works, and then maybe their letters or journals, and interviews with him or her. The deeper one goes, the more fascinating it can get and the more insights into art (and maybe oneself) you can encounter. This is how I see my current fascination with the Dead, and this wonderful community makes it possible by sharing their collections of music here. Obsessive? Maybe. Enriching? Certainly. Fun? Beyond doubt.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Oct 5, 2006 10:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: so who listens to nothin' but dead

Not to stir the pot, but it is interesting that Hunter is known for some of the better translation of Rilke's work. In any event, who can deny that Ripple is a great, great song that for me, at least, sums up the "message" I took from the GD (and I love how Jane's Addiction's cover On Deadicated goes into The Other One).

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Oct 5, 2006 7:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: so who listens to nothin' but dead

Dhamma: yes, definitely well-explained and i think i can appreciate and understand your viewpoint better this time around. In fact, for one who has thought so deeply into the thing, well, that says much in support of your position on the topic.

And i definitely agree that both lyrics and poetry can move a person emotionally, to the same degree. And perhaps, lyrics, when combined with music, to an even greater degree given the additional and greater use of one's senses. So, i wonder (posit perhaps) if one could achieve the same sort of emotional and intellectual response just reading the lyrics off the page, and never having experienced those lyrics to its musical accompaniment, than what one reacts to when absorbed in the full composition as is intended. It's a thought anyway.

And i would most definitely concur that Hunter is a brilliant lyricist. But back in the day when i was more into Hunter than i am today, i often wondered if his translations of Rilke compared favorably to those that were among the so-called accepted translations studied by the academic world. Not a speaker of German, i couldn't of course answer my own question, and actually didn't take it much further than a conversation i had with a Russian friend of mine with a PhD in 20th century poetry, and who was quite intimate most with two poets: Rilke & Neruda. Very different poets, but nonetheless, those were her poetry hobby-horses so to speak. She had never heard of the Hunter translation of Duino Elegies (which she reads in English, Russian, German, and French), but it's just her experience and not an final answer to whether Hunter's translation compares favorably. In fact, i would be interested if anyone has any info. on how Hunter's Elegies sits with established academia.

Now, about my opinion of 'established academia' ... i fully acknowlege that it does not always speak for what is 'best,' or most profound, or 'cutting-edge' or 'revolutionary', but it is a bellwether of sorts. So, maybe in a hundred years, college students will be reading Hunter's Rilke translations. I certainly hope so. One last thing about 'established academia' -- they don't always get it right. I mean look at how long it took them to pick up on the writings of Charles Bukowski, one of the best writers of his generation, and completely misunderstood for years by the publishers, the print media, and by academia and the whole stuck-up New York crowd. And feminists as well, who in fact still misunderstand and misrepresent him. Read 'Post Office' or 'Ham On Rye' or 'Factotum' and be blown away by that man's brillance, and economical and precise writing style.

Okay, i've rambled enough.


This post was modified by Arbuthnot on 2006-10-06 02:18:10